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SYLLABUS
Cambridge International Level 3
Pre-U Certificate in
Global Perspectives and Independent Research
9777
For examination in 2016, 2017 and 2018
QN: 500/4010/8
Cambridge Advanced
Version 3
Cambridge Pre-U Syllabus
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Changes to the syllabus
This syllabus has been updated. The latest syllabus is version 3, published September 2017.
Significant changes to the syllabus are indicated by black vertical lines either side of the text.
The information on page 7 regarding availability for private candidates and combining this with other
syllabuses has been updated. Please see the Cambridge UK Guide to Making Entries for more
information.
Changes to the previous version of the syllabus, published July 2016, were:
For information on entry codes and options, please refer to the Cambridge UK Guide to Making
Entries.
Key skills on page 39 has been removed.
If there are any further changes to this syllabus, Cambridge will write to Centres to inform them.
This syllabus is also on the Cambridge website www.cie.org.uk/cambridgepreu. The version of the
syllabus on the website should always be considered as the definitive version.
Cambridge Pre-U syllabuses can be downloaded from our website www.cie.org.uk/cambridgepreu
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© Cambridge International Examinations 2013
Contents
Section 1: Pre-U Certificate in Global Perspectives and Independent Research................... 2
Introduction
Global Perspectives and Independent Research requirements
Skills and perspectives
Assessment, grading and aggregation of Global Perspectives and Independent Research
Entry options for Global Perspectives and Independent Research
Section 2: Global Perspectives.............................................................................................. 5
Introduction
Aims
Scheme of assessment
Availability
Assessment objectives
Relationship between scheme of assessment and assessment objectives
Description of components
Curriculum content
Grade descriptors
Appendix GP 1: The teacher’s role and level of guidance permitted
Appendix GP 2: Key terms
Section 3: Independent Research Report............................................................................ 20
Introduction
Scheme of assessment
Assessment objectives
Relationship between scheme of assessment and assessment objectives
Curriculum content
Marking criteria
Sample guidance for candidates
Grade descriptors
Appendix: Additional information
Section 1: Pre-U Certificate in Global Perspectives and Independent Research
Section 1: Pre-U Certificate in Global Perspectives and
Independent Research
Introduction
Cambridge Pre-U qualifications aim to equip candidates with the skills required to make a success of
their subsequent studies at university, involving not only a solid grounding in each specialist subject at
an appropriate level, but also the ability to undertake independent and self-directed learning and to think
laterally, critically and creatively.
The Cambridge Pre-U curriculum is underpinned by a core set of educational principles:
•
A programme of study which supports the development of well-informed, open and independentminded individuals capable of applying their skills to meet the demands of the world as they will
find it and over which they may have influence.
•
A curriculum which retains the integrity of subject specialisms and which can be efficiently,
effectively and reliably assessed, graded and reported to meet the needs of universities.
•
A curriculum which is designed to recognise a wide range of individual talents, interests and
abilities and which provides the depth and rigour required for a university degree course.
•
A curriculum which encourages the acquisition of specific skills and abilities, in particular the skills
of problem solving, creativity, thinking critically, team working and effective communication.
•
The encouragement of ‘deep understanding’ in learning – where that deep understanding is likely
to involve higher order cognitive activities.
•
The development of a perspective which equips young people to understand a range of different
cultures and ideas and to respond successfully to the opportunity for international mobility.
In addition to the aims that run through and inform the Cambridge Pre-U subject syllabuses, Cambridge
Pre-U Global Perspectives and Independent Research Report seek to add value in terms of coherence,
depth and breadth, through:
•
Expanding creative, critical and responsible awareness through the tackling of global issues in
Global Perspectives.
•
Encouraging focused personal exploration and increased depth of study through the Independent
Research Report.
Global Perspectives places academic specialisation in a practical, real-world context, being a seminar-based
opportunity to research and explore a range of issues challenging people across the globe. Developing
critical/analytical, research, and problem-solving skills essential to higher education, candidates will learn to
place their personal perspectives in a global context, finding new inspiration and challenges for their studies.
Candidates will submit a presentation and an essay from their portfolio and sit an examination.
The Independent Research Report gives candidates the chance to dig still deeper into a particular subject,
or to cross boundaries by doing interdisciplinary work, or to make a new departure by investigating a subject
not covered by traditional school syllabuses. Candidates submit a single piece of extended work on their
chosen theme.
Cambridge International Pre-U Global Perspectives and Independent Research 9777.
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Syllabus for examination in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Section 1: Pre-U Certificate in Global Perspectives and Independent Research
Global Perspectives and Independent Research requirements
All Cambridge Principal Subject syllabuses are linear. Cambridge Pre-U Global Perspectives and Independent
Research Report are certificated as Cambridge International Pre-U Certificate in Global Perspectives and
Independent Research (GPR).
Skills and perspectives
Global Perspectives seeks directly to assess generic skills relating to thinking critically and enquiry.
The Independent Research Report assesses some generic study skills at a high level, while also giving
credit for advanced subject (and where appropriate interdisciplinary) knowledge and understanding.
Knowledge
Understanding
Skills
Relfection
Detail
Subject
Syllabuses
Subject-specific
*
Global
Perspectives
*
Cross-curricular
Subject-specific
Indpendent
Research
Report
*
*
Cross-curricular
*
*
*
*
*
Interdiciplinary
*
*
Self-relfective
*
*
Thinking critically
*
Subject-specific
*
Cross-curricular
*
Detailed assessment objectives for both Global Perspectives and Independent Research Report are
provided in the relevant sections in this syllabus.
Cambridge International Pre-U Global Perspectives and Independent Research 9777.
Syllabus for examination in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
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Section 1: Pre-U Certificate in Global Perspectives and Independent Research
Assessment, grading and aggregation of Global Perspectives and
Independent Research
A candidate taking Global Perspectives must take the components 1, 2 and 3 in the same session. The
Independent Research Report can be taken in a different session to Global Perspectives but should be taken
within 13 months to claim the Global Perspectives and Independent Research certificate.
Candidates wishing to improve their performance in Global Perspectives must retake all three components
1, 2 and 3. They will not be allowed to resit individual components.
The Cambridge International Level 3 Pre-U Certificates are graded on a scale of nine grades: D1 (Distinction
1), D2, D3, M1 (Merit 1), M2, M3, P1 (Pass 1), P2, P3. Grades achieved for the four components will
be aggregated to provide a single grade for the Cambridge Pre-U Certificate in Global Perspectives and
Independent Research.
Entry options for Global Perspectives and Independent Research
Candidates should be entered for Global Perspectives and Independent Research using the syllabus code
9777.
Options
Entry codes and instructions for making entries can be found in the Cambridge Guide to Making Entries.
Other administrative documents, including timetables and administrative instructions can be found at
www.cie.org.uk/examsofficers
Routes for Candidates
Candidates who wish to improve their performance on Global Perspectives may take all three components
again in the same session as submitting the Independent Research Report. Candidates should be aware,
however, that only the most recent result will count towards certification.
Cambridge International Pre-U Global Perspectives and Independent Research 9777.
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Syllabus for examination in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Section 2: Global Perspectives
Section 2: Global Perspectives
Introduction
Cambridge Pre-U Global Perspectives aims to prepare young people for positive engagement with a rapidly
changing world, broadening their outlook through the critical analysis of and reflection on, issues of global
significance.
This syllabus is firmly based on skills rather than specific content. Through the study of global issues,
learners will explore different and sometimes opposing perspectives and will acquire and develop thinking
and reasoning skills as well as research and communication skills. These skills will enable learners to meet
the demands of the twenty-first century and to make a successful transition to study in higher education.
Cambridge Pre-U Global Perspectives encourages transformative learning, where learners become critically
aware of their own beliefs and assumptions and those of others, developing valid arguments by reflecting
on and interpreting, a range of evidence.
Advances in technology have changed our access to information and the way we communicate and work.
Increasingly, young people are faced with a multiplicity of competing ideas, information and arguments and
they need to be able to think critically to deconstruct arguments, to differentiate between the ways in which
people express their perspectives, to assess and evaluate claims and to develop lines of reasoning.
Learners will develop research skills that will enable them to obtain information, evaluate the reliability and
usefulness of this information and use the evidence gathered to construct their own arguments and support
lines of reasoning.
Through well-defined stages, called the Critical Path, learners will apply a logical approach to decisionmaking. Learners will be able to analyse the structure and context of arguments, assess the impact and
limitations of evidence and make well-reasoned judgements through informed research. Learners will learn
to organise and communicate their findings in appropriate formats.
Cambridge Pre-U Global Perspectives prepares learners for further education and for life-long learning across
a range of disciplines by helping them to be:
•
confident in working with information and ideas – their own and those of others
•
responsible for themselves, responsive to and respectful of others
•
innovative and equipped for new and future challenges
•
engaged intellectually and socially, ready to make a difference
Cambridge International Pre-U Global Perspectives and Independent Research 9777.
Syllabus for examination in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
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Section 2: Global Perspectives
Aims
Cambridge Pre-U Global Perspectives will appeal to young people because it enables them to explore issues
of global significance and offers them opportunities to acquire, develop and apply skills in critical thinking,
research and communication.
Not only does Cambridge Pre-U Global Perspectives equip learners with the skills they need in a rapidly
changing intellectual and technical environment, it also prepares and encourages them to engage confidently
with issues and ideas of global significance.
To encourage learners to think critically, this syllabus presents an approach to analysing and evaluating
arguments and perspectives called the Critical Path.
Candidates will learn how to deconstruct and reconstruct arguments by researching global issues and
interrogating evidence. They will reflect on the implications of their research and analysis from a personal
perspective and communicate their findings and ideas as reasoned arguments.
The Critical Path
Deconstruction
Reconstruction
Reflection
Communication
Cambridge Pre-U Global Perspectives aims to develop learners by:
•
providing opportunities to acquire disciplined and scholarly research skills
•
promoting a critical, questioning approach to information that is often taken for granted
•
encouraging self-reflection and an independence of thought
•
encouraging an understanding of and engagement with, some of the key global issues that they will
face wherever they live and work
•
encouraging an awareness and understanding of and respect for, the diversity of perspectives on global
issues
•
encouraging an interdisciplinary approach to global issues
Articulation and Progression
Cambridge Pre-U Global Perspectives serves as a basis from which a candidate may subsequently embark
with confidence on the Independent Research Report, having developed the skills involved in identifying
questions, locating and evaluating sources and perspectives, and in setting out a realistic and meaningful
research agenda. The Global Perspectives assessment ends at the point where a candidate might be
expected to be aware of the issues involved in setting up a research proposal, identifying an appropriate
question, and undertaking a literature review or its equivalent. These latter skills are assessed generically
in Global Perspectives, and are then assessed in relation to a particular piece of original research, in the
Independent Research Report.
Cambridge International Pre-U Global Perspectives and Independent Research 9777.
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Syllabus for examination in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Section 2: Global Perspectives
The approach taken by Global Perspectives is very different from, but seeks to complement and carry
forward the subject-specific approaches elsewhere in the Cambridge Pre-U Diploma. The focus here
is on candidates learning how to learn – on providing them with the tools for independent, pro-active,
interdisciplinary study.
Prior Knowledge
Global Perspectives builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills typically gained by candidates taking
Level 2 qualifications. It is recommended that candidates have attained communication and literacy skills at
a level equivalent to IGCSE®/GCSE Grade C in English.
The course will equip candidates with a coherent theoretical and practical basis of transferable skills and
key knowledge suitable for future lawyers, scientists, medics and academic researchers, whilst providing
thought-provoking material that may appeal to those intending to progress to study in higher education and
ultimately into a wide range of careers.
Scheme of assessment
Global Perspectives is assessed through three compulsory components.
Component
Task
Duration
Weighting
(%)
Type of Assessment
1
Written paper
1 hour 30
minutes
25
Externally assessed
2
Essay
–
30
Externally assessed
3
Presentation
max 15 minutes
running time
45
Externally assessed
Components 2 and 3 are submitted in electronic form and marked by Cambridge. Work must be submitted
by 31 May for assessment in the May/June session and 31 October for assessment in the October/
November session.
Guidance on appropriate formats and procedures for the submitted work is provided in the Cambridge
Handbook. Centres are strongly advised to retain securely either in hard copy or an electronic copy of
the complete submission. The Cambridge Handbook is available from the exam officer section of the
Cambridge website at www.cie.org.uk/examsofficeguide
Availability
This syllabus is examined in the June and November examination series.
This syllabus is not available to private candidates.
Combining this with other syllabuses
Candidates can combine this syllabus in a series with any other Cambridge syllabus, except syllabuses with
the same title at the same level.
Cambridge International Pre-U Global Perspectives and Independent Research 9777.
Syllabus for examination in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
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Section 2: Global Perspectives
Assessment objectives
Throughout the course, candidates will gain knowledge and understanding of the background to a range
of global issues and will appreciate the diversity of perspectives within them. This knowledge and
understanding will underpin and inform the skills they will acquire, but will not be separately assessed.
AO1 Deconstruction
Analyse and evaluate
conclusions,
arguments,
reasoning or claims
AO2 Reconstruction
Analyse the
evidence for
conclusions,
arguments,
reasoning or claims
AO3 Reflection
Assess the impact of
research on personal
perspectives
AO4 Communication
Communicate views,
information and
research effectively
and convincingly
•
critically compare different perspectives
•
analyse the structure of arguments, reasoning or claims and identify the
key components
•
evaluate the implications of the conclusions, arguments, reasoning or
claims.
•
analyse and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of arguments,
reasoning or claims
•
evaluate the validity of the conclusions, arguments, reasoning or claims
•
research and analyse evidence to support conclusions, arguments,
reasoning or claims
•
evaluate sources used to support conclusions, arguments, reasoning or
claims
•
research and analyse alternative perspectives and conclusions against
the supporting evidence
•
identify and analyse the context upon which arguments have been
based
•
evaluate the reliability and credibility of sources
•
state personal perspectives before carrying out research
•
research alternative perspectives objectively, and with sympathy and
empathy
•
evaluate the impact of alternative perspectives and conclusions on
personal perspectives
•
identify the need for further research and suggest its likely impact on
personal perspectives
•
select and present relevant information, in a balanced, coherent and
well-structured way to a non-specialist audience
•
present complex, global concepts and perspectives effectively, using
appropriate media
•
develop and present convincing and well-supported lines of reasoning
based on supporting evidence
•
use appropriate technical terms and cited references effectively
Cambridge International Pre-U Global Perspectives and Independent Research 9777.
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Syllabus for examination in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Section 2: Global Perspectives
Relationship between scheme of assessment and assessment
objectives
The relationship between the assessment objectives and the components is shown in the table below.
Assessment
Objective
Component
Whole
Assessment
(raw marks)
1: Written paper
(raw marks)
2: Essay
(raw marks)
3: Presentation
(raw marks)
AO1
18
3
6
27
AO2
12
12
6
30
AO3
0
10
16
26
AO4
0
5
12
17
Total
30
30
40
100
Description of components
Component 1: Written paper
The written paper lasts 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Candidates answer compulsory, structured questions based on two or more sources provided with the
paper. Questions will require both short and longer responses.
The stimulus material provided with the written paper may express different perspectives on issues of
global significance taken from the topics listed in the syllabus.
Candidates will not be assessed on their knowledge and understanding of the specific issues represented
in the stimulus material. Instead, candidates will be assessed on their thinking and reasoning skills focused
mainly on analysing and evaluating arguments, evidence and contexts.
In carrying out a critical and comparative analysis of the stimulus material, candidates will be assessed on
their ability to:
•
identify and analyse the structure and context of arguments, reasoning and claims
•
evaluate the strength of the arguments
•
identify the key components of arguments
•
identify and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of arguments
•
assess the validity of conclusions or claims
•
assess the credibility of sources
•
identify and evaluate different perspectives
Cambridge International Pre-U Global Perspectives and Independent Research 9777.
Syllabus for examination in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
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Section 2: Global Perspectives
Nature of assessment
This component is an externally set assessment, marked by Cambridge.
Component 2: Essay
Candidates write an essay on a global issue of their choice from the topics studied during the course.
The essay must be framed as a single question which is clearly focused on a global issue that lends itself
to global treatment in 1750 to 2000 words. Candidates should be supported in formulating an appropriate
question. See page 18 for the role of the teacher and the level of guidance permitted.
Candidates should focus their individual research on identifying and exploring the context and basis of the
arguments from different global perspectives. They should identify different perspectives, understand the
arguments, reasoning or claims, upon which these perspectives are based, offer a critical view of them and
reach a personal, supported view.
In the essay, candidates will be assessed on their ability to:
•
identify and synthesise relevant sources
•
assess the credibility of sources used
•
analyse at least two conflicting perspectives
•
identify and evaluate the evidence that supports the perspectives
•
explain how the research has affected their personal perspectives
•
show an awareness of the limitations of the arguments considered
•
present convincing and well-supported conclusions that answer the question posed
•
suggest further relevant research
•
communicate effectively and concisely, using technical terms where appropriate
The essay must be written in continuous prose, include a list of sources used and be submitted in an
electronic format. Quotations must be fully referenced. The essay must not exceed 2000 words and an
accurate word-count must be clearly stated on each essay. The word-count excludes the title, references
and footnotes. Work beyond the 2000 word maximum will not be included in the assessment.
Nature of assessment
Candidates decide on their own essay question for this component, which is externally marked by
Cambridge. All materials for Component 2 must be submitted electronically, see the Cambridge Handbook
(UK). The deadline for submission to Cambridge is 31 May (May/June session) or 31 October (October/
November session).
Component 3: Presentation
Candidates produce a presentation based on pre-released source materials provided by Cambridge. The
stimulus material consists of a range of sources about at least one global issue seen through a variety of
perspectives.
Candidates use the stimulus material to identify and research a topic for their presentation. Candidates must
frame a single question that allows them to address contrasting perspectives on an issue derived from
the stimulus material. They may research one or more perspectives for themselves. Candidates should be
supported in formulating an appropriate question. See page 19 for the role of the teacher and the level of
guidance permitted.
Cambridge International Pre-U Global Perspectives and Independent Research 9777.
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Syllabus for examination in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Section 2: Global Perspectives
Candidates should reflect on the alternative perspectives found in the source materials and from their own
research and the focus of the presentation is mainly reflection and communication. In their presentation,
candidates establish and present a coherent, personal perspective that shows an understanding of, and
empathy with alternative perspectives.
In the presentation, candidates will be assessed on their ability to:
•
communicate a coherent argument
•
engage with different perspectives, showing any relationships between them
•
develop a line of reasoning based on supporting evidence
•
express a relevant personal perspective
•
evaluate their own personal perspective
•
justify their own personal perspective
•
present convincing and well-supported conclusions that answer the question posed
The presentation should:
•
include relevant stimulus material
•
communicate effectively to a non-specialist audience
•
cite sources and references clearly and accurately
Candidates are normally expected to deliver their presentation to a live audience and candidates may choose
any appropriate format to communicate their research (e.g. poster, PowerPoint, video, weblog, webpages or
a mixture of different media). All materials must be submitted electronically. Teachers must ensure that the
quality of any recording will permit accurate marking of the work.
Whether presented or not, the submission must include a verbatim transcript of the presentation. The
running time for the presentation must not exceed 15 minutes. Work beyond the maximum 15 minutes
running time will not be included in the assessment.
The pre-released source material will be available to Centres by 1 March (for the June session) or 1 August
(for the November session) to allow candidates four weeks to complete their presentation. Each Centre may
determine the precise timing of the four-week period to fit their own circumstances.
Teachers must ensure that, for each candidate, sufficient and appropriate supporting evidence is submitted
to permit accurate marking of the work. Any recorded dialogue or oral presentation must be accompanied by
a written transcript and supporting visual materials.
Nature of assessment
Candidates decide on their own presentation question based on the stimulus material provided by
Cambridge. The presentation is marked by Cambridge. All materials for Component 3 must be submitted
electronically, see the Cambridge Handbook (UK). The deadline for submission is 31 May (May/June
session) or 31 October (October/November session).
Cambridge International Pre-U Global Perspectives and Independent Research 9777.
Syllabus for examination in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
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Section 2: Global Perspectives
Curriculum content
Skills in research, communication, thinking and reasoning
This syllabus uses global issues to develop the Critical Path approach to interrogating information, exploring
different perspectives and communicating personal reflections. These practical skills are transferable across
other subjects of study at the same level and provide candidates with valuable thinking and reasoning skills
for use in higher education and for a wide range of careers.
The exemplar questions below are designed to support teachers and candidates in developing skills in
research, communication, thinking and reasoning.
Element
Exemplar questions
Deconstruction
What are the different perspectives represented? Critically compare different
perspectives.
Analyse and evaluate
conclusions,
arguments, reasoning
or claims
What are the key components of the argument or claim? Differentiate
between fact, argument, opinion, rant, speculation, prediction, explanation,
hypothesis, account and belief. Identify the conclusions, reasons (premises),
assumptions (stated and unstated), assertions (and counter-assertions), and
supporting evidence.
What are the implications of the conclusions, arguments, reasoning or
claims? Suggest the consequences of the conclusions, arguments, reasoning
or claims, in a global context.
What are the strengths and weaknesses of arguments, reasoning or
claims? Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses in the arguments, reasoning or
claims. Assess the use of analogy and identify any flaws.
Is there a valid conclusion or claim? Identify whether any evidence gives
strong or weak support to the conclusion or claim. Suggest other evidence
required to substantiate or refute claims or counterclaims.
Reconstruction
Critically analyse and
interpret the context
and evidence of
arguments
What evidence is there to support different perspectives? Analyse the
evidence base and support for different perspectives.
What are the sources used as supporting evidence and how credible are
they? Identify, synthesise and evaluate sources of research to support the
evidence.
Does the evidence lead to a single conclusion? Research and evaluate
alternative explanations and perspectives. Make a reasoned and balanced
judgment based on evidence.
What is the context of the arguments? Explain the global context in which
the arguments have been made.
How reliable is the conclusion? Evaluate the reliability and credibility of the
sources, making it clear how reasoned judgments are made.
Cambridge International Pre-U Global Perspectives and Independent Research 9777.
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Syllabus for examination in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Section 2: Global Perspectives
Element
Exemplar questions
Reflection
What were the personal viewpoints before carrying out the research?
Reflect on personal perspectives prior to undertaking the research.
Explore the impact
of the research on
personal perspectives
How do the personal viewpoints relate to the perspectives identified in
the research? Evaluate personal viewpoints against alternative perspectives on
global issues.
What impact has the research had on any prior viewpoints? Evaluate
the extent to which personal viewpoints have changed after carrying out the
research.
Why has the research had an effect on prior views? Justify the reasons why
personal perspectives have changed as a result of research.
What additional research might be useful? Identify and justify possible
further research directions.
Communication
Present research
findings effectively
What is the most effective way to structure the presentation? Select, and
organise relevant information in a logical and coherent way.
How can research findings be presented to a non-specialist audience?
Explore appropriate media to present complex global perspectives.
How can arguments be presented effectively and persuasively? Use wellsupported lines of reasoning based on supporting evidence.
How can research findings be presented reliably? Use appropriate technical
terms and cite references accurately and clearly.
Global topics and perspectives
The global topics provide meaningful and stimulating contexts through which candidates can develop the
skills necessary to participate as active, global citizens and to prepare them for independent research and
further study. The topics are viewed through different perspectives that help candidates find pathways
through the issues and the connections between them.
A suitable study programme can be devised by choosing a range of topics set within a global context and
viewed through different perspectives. Candidates should select the topics that engage their interest and
explore each chosen topic through the four elements:
•
deconstruction
•
reconstruction
•
reflection
•
communication
Candidates research global topics through different themes. Candidates should explore a range of topics
from the list below.
Cambridge International Pre-U Global Perspectives and Independent Research 9777.
Syllabus for examination in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
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Section 2: Global Perspectives
Global topic
•
Alternatives to oil
•
Migration and work
•
Artificial Intelligence
•
On-line and interactive communities
•
Biodiversity and threats to the world’s natural
heritage
•
Standard of living/quality of life
•
Sustainable futures
•
Endangered cultures
•
Technology and lifestyles
•
Ethical foreign policies
•
The challenge of GM crops
•
Genetic engineering
•
The economic role of women
•
Global climate change
•
The emergence of a global superpower
•
Globalisation of economic activity
•
The ethics and economics of food
•
Globalisation versus new nationalisms
•
The religious-secular divide
•
Impact of the internet
•
•
Incorporating technology into buildings
The speed of change in technology and global
trade
•
Industrial pollution
•
•
Integration and multiculturalism
Transnational organisations (UN, World Bank,
EU, NATO)
•
International law
•
Urbanisation and the countryside
•
Medical ethics and priorities
By studying at least four topics, candidates will develop the Critical Path to interrogating information and
acquire and develop a range of skills, including thinking critically, reasoning and communication.
Candidates research global topics through as many different themes as is relevant.
Theme
Culture
Economics
Environment
Ethics
Politics
Science and Technology
Global issues are complex, multi-faceted and multi-level challenges and through the structured exploration
of global topics, candidates research alternative perspectives from different themes. Candidates will be
guided towards development of research, communication, thinking and reasoning.
Cambridge International Pre-U Global Perspectives and Independent Research 9777.
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Syllabus for examination in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Section 2: Global Perspectives
Grade descriptors
The following grade descriptors indicate the level of attainment characteristic of the middle of the given
grade. They give a general indication of the required standard at each specified grade. The descriptors
should be interpreted in relation to the curriculum content in the syllabus, they are not designed to define
that content.
The grade awarded will depend in practice upon the extent to which the candidate has met the assessment
objectives overall. Shortcomings in some aspects of the assessment may be balanced by better
performance in others.
Distinction (D2)
Candidates characteristically:
•
apply the language of reasoning in an appropriate, confident and precise way to the context
•
demonstrate a secure understanding of the overall structure of subtle or complex argument, identifying
key components accurately and, for example, distinguishing intermediate from main conclusion and
recognising counter-argument where present
•
demonstrate the ability to make perceptive critical evaluation of argument in terms of their strengths,
weaknesses, flaws, implicit assumptions, use of evidence, etc.
•
where appropriate, interpret and clarify key expressions and ideas with precision
•
critically assess the credibility of sources of evidence and the impact of those sources on the issue
•
recognise contrasting points of view and identify the reasoning underpinning those points of view,
recognising and evaluating clearly the arguments on each side
•
construct and communicate their own cogent complex arguments synthesising concepts and ideas
fluently and accurately in a logical manner
•
provide persuasive reasoned responses to challenges, questioning and counter-argument
•
show clear evidence of perceptive/original reflection and/or reasoned opinion;
•
respond with sensitivity and respect to counter-argument
•
reflect on the development of their own viewpoint showing balance and self-awareness.
Merit (M2)
Candidates characteristically:
•
apply the vocabulary of reasoning to the context with understanding of its correct usage
•
demonstrate understanding of the overall structure of the argument, identifying most key components
accurately
•
demonstrate the ability to make some critical evaluation of the argument in terms of obvious strengths,
weaknesses and flaws
•
interpret and clarify expressions generally with accuracy
•
assess the credibility of sources of evidence and their impact with some relevance to the issue
•
recognise at least one other contrasting point of view and the gist of the reasoning underpinning that
point of view, but evaluation is incomplete or imprecise
•
construct and communicate their own arguments showing some ability to synthesise concepts and
ideas mainly accurately and logically, but argument may lack balance
•
provide sound information in response to challenges, questioning and counter-argument, but may lack
perception
Cambridge International Pre-U Global Perspectives and Independent Research 9777.
Syllabus for examination in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
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Section 2: Global Perspectives
•
show some evidence of reflection and/or their own reasoned opinion
•
respond with respect to counter-argument
•
show some capacity to reflect on their own viewpoint with self-awareness
Pass (P2)
Candidates characteristically:
•
apply the vocabulary of reasoning with some instances of correct usage
•
demonstrate understanding of the gist of the argument and/or some of the reasons, identifying one or
more key components correctly
•
demonstrate some evidence of critical evaluation of argument, for example identifying an obvious
weakness or flaw
•
make some comments about expressions and ideas, but these may be simplistic or superficial
•
make superficial comments about the sources of evidence
•
recognise the gist of contrasting points of view and/or some of the reasoning, but comments may be
superficial
•
make some attempt to construct an argument which may include relevant ideas and information, but
lack depth or coherence, or include digression
•
provide a response to challenges, questioning and counter-argument, but may lack relevance
•
develop their own presentation using collaborative working methods which are effective at times
•
show evidence of reflection and/or their own reasoned opinion but this may be limited
•
respond to counter-argument, but response may show lack of thought
•
show some capacity to reflect on their own viewpoint but conclusions may be superficial
Appendix GP 1: The teacher’s role and level of guidance permitted
Component 1: Written paper
1 hour 30 minutes
The written paper consists of compulsory question based on sources provided with the paper.
Candidates will be required to analyse and evaluate arguments, interrogate evidence and compare
perspectives centred on global issues.
Although this is a skills-based paper that does not require candidates to have been taught any specific
content, teachers should consider and explore the skills candidates need for this paper during class
work. Teachers should prepare candidates for the types of questions they are likely to meet in the
paper by using specimen and past papers and mark schemes which can be obtained from the website
http://www.cie.org.uk/
Cambridge International Pre-U Global Perspectives and Independent Research 9777.
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Syllabus for examination in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Section 2: Global Perspectives
Component 2: Essay
Candidates write an essay on a global issue of their choice from the topics studied during the course.
A class may work together to carry out background research on a common theme, but each candidate must
devise their own question. Each candidate must submit a different question.
Candidates should be given sufficient time to plan and prepare their research. During this preparation,
teachers should support each candidate in:
•
understanding the nature of the task
•
identifying a suitable topic to research
•
formulating an appropriate question
•
developing a suitable approach to the research
•
developing organisational skills
•
citing and referencing their sources
•
focussing on reconstruction and reflection
•
writing effectively and concisely to stay between 1750 and 2000 words
•
including an accurate word count
Questions for essay titles may be submitted to Cambridge for approval using the Outline Proposal Form.
Forms should be received no later than 31 October in the May/June session and no later than
31 March for the October/November session. Centres should allow up to four weeks for the return of the
form.
The essay must be the candidate’s own work. Once candidates embark on researching and writing the
essay, they must only seek assistance from their teacher, but there must be minimum intervention by the
teacher. Candidates must not cut and paste large amounts of text from sources without showing evidence
of reworking. The OPF is available on CIEDirect.
Teachers must not:
•
offer or provide detailed subject guidance to candidates
•
undertake any research on behalf of candidates
•
prepare or write any subject-specific notes or drafts for candidates
•
correct any part of a candidate’s essay or notes used for the essay
•
suggest amendments to, or comment on, any part of the essay
Candidates must be taught the meaning and significance of plagiarism.
Candidates will be required to sign a declaration indicating that the essay is their own work. The teacher
responsible will be required to countersign this declaration, verifying that these regulations have been
observed. This declaration must accompany the essay on submission. The deadline for submission is
31 May (May/June session) or 31 October (October/November session).
Cambridge International Pre-U Global Perspectives and Independent Research 9777.
Syllabus for examination in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
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Section 2: Global Perspectives
Component 3: Presentation
Candidates produce a presentation based on pre-released stimulus materials provided by Cambridge. The
stimulus material consists of a range of sources about a global issue seen through a variety of perspectives.
A class may work together to carry out background research on a common theme, but each candidate must
devise their own question which has its own focus.
Candidates should be given sufficient time to interrogate and discuss the pre-release material, and to plan
and prepare their research. During this preparation, teachers should support each candidate in:
•
understanding the nature of the task
•
discussing the issues, problems and research opportunities based on the pre-release material
•
formulating an appropriate question
•
developing a suitable approach to the research
•
developing organisational skills
•
citing and referencing their sources
•
focussing on reflection and communication
•
developing an empathetic approach to alternative perspectives
The presentation and associated materials must be the candidate’s own work. Once candidates
embark on researching and producing the presentation, they must only seek assistance from their teacher,
but there must be minimum intervention by the teacher. Candidates must not cut and paste large amounts
of text from sources without showing evidence of reworking.
Teachers must not:
•
offer or provide detailed subject guidance to candidates
•
undertake any research on behalf of candidates
•
prepare or write any subject-specific notes or drafts for candidates
•
correct any part of a candidate’s notes used for the presentation
•
prepare any part of the presentation
•
produce any part of the transcript to accompany the oral commentary
•
suggest amendments to, or comment on, any part of the presentation
Candidates must be taught the meaning and significance of plagiarism.
Candidates will be required to sign a declaration indicating that the presentation is their own work. The
teacher responsible will be required to countersign this declaration, verifying that these regulations have
been observed. This declaration must accompany the presentation on submission. The deadline for
submission to Cambridge is 31 May (May/June session) or 31 October (October/November session).
Cambridge International Pre-U Global Perspectives and Independent Research 9777.
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Syllabus for examination in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Section 2: Global Perspectives
Appendix GP 2: Key terms
A global issue is one that goes beyond the local or national context and would be experienced by people
wherever in the world they live or work. For example, migration is an issue of importance around the
world, and to examine it in its global context from different perspectives would require a question such
as ‘Is immigration control ever justified?’ rather than ‘Should immigration policy in Germany be changed?’
The latter is based on one country whereas the former has the potential to be global.
A perspective is a viewpoint or standpoint, sometimes embedded in or strongly informed by a world view.
Underlying any perspective are concepts, principles, uses of language and attitudes which are often implicit
and may be emotional and subconscious as well as rational and conscious. Perspectives tend to be coloured
by the circumstances in which people live, the language they use and the ideas that surround them.
Different perspectives should be genuinely contrasting (i.e. they should come from a different world-view
rather than represent subtly different takes on an issue). Although there is no absolute requirement that
alternative perspectives be rooted in different geographical areas, genuinely different global perspectives
are likely to be informed by different cultural, geographical and political environments. Looking at materials
from different countries and/or cultures would therefore be a good way of accessing different global
perspectives.
It is also possible for two contrasting perspectives (rooted in different world views) to be exemplified by
particular ‘local’ contexts (for example the views of a local Muslim community versus those of a secular
background). Teachers should note however that while local contexts can be used as exemplification, this
exemplification should be used to consider implications more globally. Candidates need to empathise with
viewpoints that differ from their own while not necessarily accepting the viewpoints of others.
Arguments and evidence often express a perspective and can be used to support a perspective. There
needs to be some form of evidence base underlying and/or supporting all perspectives. This evidence base
is likely to consist of a variety of arguments, sources and evidence which may or may not be of good quality.
Candidates need to sift and select evidence. Evidence is likely to come in two forms: primary evidence
such as historical texts or results of scientific evidence, and secondary evidence such as the arguments
and opinions of historians or scientists. The assessment objectives put weight on the second of these.
Candidates should be aware of the strengths and potential weaknesses of all types of evidence. Primary
is not necessarily better than secondary. When assessing the credibility of particular sources candidates
should bear in mind that this is a way of assessing the evidence presented for a perspective and is not an
end in itself.
Candidates research and analyse different perspectives based on issues of global significance. They
examine the structure of arguments, considering the strengths and weaknesses. They will use research
skills to search, collect and synthesise their findings into well-supported lines of reasoning, drawing
together evidence from a variety of sources into a balanced argument or conclusion. Candidates evaluate
evidence, arguments, reasoning, conclusions or claims in the context of different perspectives, including
their own. They make reasoned and value judgements based on evidence and personal viewpoints prior to
and after carrying out their research. Candidates consider the validity of evidence, reasoning, conclusions or
claims.
The Critical Path is an approach to thinking critically. It consists of deconstruction, reconstruction and
personal reflection. Deconstruction is the analysis of an argument or reasoning; reconstruction is the
analysis of the context and evidence of an argument, and personal reflection is the exploration of the
impact of research on personal viewpoints.
Cambridge International Pre-U Global Perspectives and Independent Research 9777.
Syllabus for examination in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
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Section 3: Independent Research Report
Section 3: Independent Research Report
Introduction
For the Independent Research Report candidates submit a report based on work done beyond individual
subject syllabuses, on a topic chosen by the candidate. It gives the candidate the opportunity to:
1. dig deeper in a chosen specialism, or
2. cross boundaries with an inter-disciplinary enquiry, or
3.make a new departure with a study in a non-school subject, perhaps one that the candidate plans to
read at university.
The Independent Research Report:
•
is submitted in the form of an extended essay or report
•
builds on other components of the Pre-U Diploma – Principal subjects and the Global Perspectives
components
•
adds breadth and depth to the candidate’s programme of study
•
articulates with and provides progression from studies in the Global Perspectives components
•
provides the opportunity to explore a specialist area of study, an unrelated topic or an interdisciplinary
theme
•
enables candidates to develop practical skills in research methodology, thinking skills and the skills to
manage a sustained piece of academic work
•
deepens the academic experience.
Candidates submit a single report which should not exceed 5000 words. It is recommended that candidates
submit a report of between 4500 and 5000 words. The report itself is a single piece of extended writing
in the form of a dissertation or a report based on an investigation or field study. The precise nature and
format of the report, and the research and reporting convention adopted, will be those most appropriate to
the subject of the enquiry. Equally, whether the work is based in primary or secondary material or both will
depend on the subject matter and the approach.
Articulation and Progression
The approach taken by the Independent Research Report is very different from, but seeks to complement
and carry forward, the subject-specific approaches elsewhere in the Cambridge Pre-U Diploma. The focus
here is on candidates applying the tools for independent, pro-active, interdisciplinary study.
Cambridge Pre-U Independent Research Report builds on and reinforces the learning outcomes of the
Global Perspectives component, taking forward the emphasis on an interdisciplinary, independent and
reflective approach, and focusing on the need for rigour in the analysis and construction of arguments.
Cambridge Pre-U Global Perspectives provides a basis from which a candidate can embark with confidence
on the Independent Research Report, having developed the skills involved in identifying questions, locating
and evaluating sources and perspectives, and in setting out a realistic and meaningful research agenda.
Candidates who have completed the Global Perspectives components can be expected to be aware of the
issues involved in setting up a research proposal, identifying an appropriate question, and undertaking a
literature review or its equivalent. These skills are assessed in the Independent Research Report in relation
to the candidate’s piece of own original research.
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Syllabus for examination in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Section 3: Independent Research Report
Candidates can produce the Independent Research Report at any time during the academic year, but it is
essential that they are appropriately prepared beforehand by undertaking the Global Perspectives course.
Aims
The Independent Research Report aims to:
•
Prepare candidates for a way of working in Higher Education:
Promoting familiarity with the research conventions current in higher education; understanding of the
different modes of research enquiry; readiness to reflect critically and respond to review; a capacity for
autonomous study and self-management.
•
Develop generic and higher order skills of research and analysis:
Including the ability to design research proposals; understanding and planning data collection methods;
ability to interpret, analyse and base conclusions on results; ability to communicate complex findings.
•
Encourage intellectual curiosity:
Providing the means of acquiring a deeper knowledge and understanding of the subject matter of the
research.
Thus the candidate will carry on to Higher Education not just high order study skills, but enhanced
knowledge of the subject, and a more widely applicable self-discipline in independent study.
Scheme of assessment
The Independent Research Report submission must comprise:
•
A single piece of extended writing in the form of a dissertation or a report based on an investigation or
field study normally comprising of no more than 5000 words. Where a project has involved extensive
field study, manipulation of data, or laboratory experiment, the resulting report length may fall below
these guidelines (further guidance will be provided). Alternative forms of submission will not be
accepted.
•
IRR Monitoring Form completed by the tutor. This form provides a means for tutors to track the
candidate’s progress in developing and producing the Independent Research Report and will assist in
the process of authenticating that the Report is the candidate’s own original work.
•
Outline Proposal Form (if one was submitted) with the moderator’s comments.
Centre assessment and Quality Assurance
The Independent Research Report should be marked by teachers according to the criteria given on
pages 28–32.
Appropriate research questions must be submitted to Cambridge for approval using the Outline Proposal
Form (OPF). Forms should be received no later than the end of January for submission in the summer
session and no later than the end of June for the winter session. Centres should allow up to four weeks for
their return.
Notwithstanding the tutorial/supervision arrangements that the Centre puts in place, it is recommended
that initial assessment of Reports will be undertaken by a subject specialist with procedures for internal
standardisation being put in place before marks are submitted to Cambridge for quality assurance.
Cambridge International Pre-U Global Perspectives and Independent Research 9777.
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Section 3: Independent Research Report
Internal standardisation
Where more than one teacher in a Centre has marked Independent Research Reports, arrangements must
be made within the Centre to ensure that all teachers interpret the marking criteria in the same way. The
arrangements for internal standardisation should normally include:
•
a standardisation meeting at the start of the marking period, at which the application of the marking
criteria is discussed in detail, using examples
•
the mutual monitoring of marking during the marking period by all of the teachers involved to ensure
consistency of marking.
It is essential that all candidates in the Centre are assessed to a common standard so one teacher in each
Centre will need to act as lead assessor whose professional judgement on the application of the marking
criteria must guide his/her colleagues.
Authentication
The Independent Research Report must be entirely the candidate’s own work. Candidates will need to
sign the declaration statement on the IRR monitoring form indicating that the report is their own work. The
teacher responsible will be required to countersign this declaration, verifying that these regulations have
been observed. For guidance on the role of the teacher and level of support permitted see pages 27 to 28.
External moderation
Internally assessed marks for all candidates must be submitted electronically to Cambridge no later than
30 April (for the May/June session) or 31 October (for the October/November session).
Coursework samples must be submitted to Cambridge no later than 30 April (for the May/June session) or
31 October (for the October/November session).
Please check the Cambridge Handbook UK, available from the ‘Exams Officer’ section of the Cambridge
website, for details on the submission of coursework samples.
The number of candidates in the sample is set according to the criteria shown in the table below:
number of candidates entered
number of candidates whose work is required
1–10
all candidates
11–50
10
51–100
15
101–200
20
More than 200
10% of the candidates
An additional sample of candidates’ work may subsequently be requested by Cambridge if necessary.
For each candidate in the sample, reports and Independent Research Report (IRR) Monitoring Forms should
be sent to Cambridge. In addition, the completed Coursework Assessment Summary Form and a copy of
Cambridge International Pre-U Global Perspectives and Independent Research 9777.
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Syllabus for examination in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Section 3: Independent Research Report
mark sheet MS1 (a computer-printed mark sheet sent from Cambridge) should be enclosed with the sample
of work.
Assessment objectives
The assessment of the Independent Research Report will focus on the ability to design, plan and manage
a research project; to collect and analyse information; to evaluate and make reasoned judgements; and to
communicate findings and conclusions.
AO1 Knowledge and
understanding of the
research process
Design, plan, manage and conduct own research project using
techniques and methods appropriate to the subject discipline.
AO2 Analysis
Select, assess and synthesise information, concepts, arguments
and evidence from a range of source material.
AO3 Evaluation
Evaluate alternative perspectives and interpretations and make
independent reasoned judgements, demonstrating the capacity to
reflect on own learning and achievement.
AO4 Communication
Communicate clearly in negotiating and conducting the research
project, and in presenting own research, interpretations and
judgements, using appropriate format and conventions.
AO5 Intellectual challenge
Demonstrate additional skills, knowledge or understanding that
shows particular intellectual engagement with the subject of the
report.
Relationship between scheme of assessment and assessment
objectives
The table below shows the approximate weighting given to each assessment objective.
Assessment
objective
Marks
Weighting
%
AO1
9
15
AO2
18
30
AO3
18
30
AO4
9
15
AO5
6
10
Total
60
100
Cambridge International Pre-U Global Perspectives and Independent Research 9777.
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Section 3: Independent Research Report
Curriculum content
Candidates will complete an Independent Research Report in the form of an essay or report of between
4500 and 5000 words in length. Work beyond the 5,000 word maximum will not be included in the
assessment.
While it is not a requirement that a full research log be submitted, teachers will be asked to verify that the
work is the candidate’s own, and that the candidate did undertake the necessary preparation in advance.
Teachers should encourage their candidates to cover the following elements of research design and
execution:
1
2
Planning and preparation
•
identification of the area of study
•
initial literature search
•
methods and techniques of literature review
•
development of a research idea
•
research methods through a consideration of definitions and purposes of research, approaches to
framing the enquiry, and designing the research project on a topic of the candidate’s own choice
•
consideration of research approaches and conventions and alternative approaches to research
•
research ethics and ethical constraints
•
research planning including time scales, activities
•
focusing ideas
•
understanding key issues which are common to all scholarly research projects; identifying and
assessing further planning issues
•
questionnaire design and data collection
•
survey analysis
•
personal research management
Production of the Report
•
methods, analysis and writing up the research project
•
critical assessment of a range of research methods
•
presenting research results and evaluating research
•
presentation skills (writing for various audiences)
•
referencing conventions appropriate to the subject discipline
•
summarising and presenting results in a variety of formats
•
demonstrating awareness of good practice in conducting research, including research ethics and,
where appropriate, ‘good science’
•
making informed judgements about research methods and evidence
Candidates are expected to apply research methods appropriate to their chosen subject discipline. Equally,
whether the work is based on primary or secondary material will depend on the subject matter and the
approach. The report itself will be a single piece of extended writing based on an investigation or field study.
The precise format and referencing conventions used should be appropriate to the subject discipline and
production of a bibliography is a requirement.
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Syllabus for examination in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Section 3: Independent Research Report
Research Methods
Successful research projects generally focus on a specific question. For example ‘Is nuclear power the best
option to solve our energy supply problems?’ is more likely to generate focussed analysis than ‘Whose
problem is poverty?’.
Candidates should select and apply research methods appropriate to the discipline they are working within
and the nature of the selected topic. It is expected that some, but not all, of the research methods listed
below will be used in their Report.
•
literature searches
•
internet searches
•
interviews e.g. with subject specialists, witnesses
•
collection of primary data – quantitative and qualitative – through surveys, questionnaires, etc
•
laboratory experiment
•
computer modelling
•
case study
•
fieldwork
Either primary or secondary research may be appropriate depending upon the nature of the enquiry.
Research should normally be the individual candidate’s own unaided work: the requirements of the
Research Report mean that group work is unlikely to be appropriate or acceptable.
It is, however, anticipated that candidates will draw on their strengths in other areas of study.
Health and Safety issues
Field study and laboratory experiment undertaken while doing the Independent Research Report will require
risk assessments to be carried out. Responsibility for safety matters rests with Centres.
In accordance with the COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) regulations, operative in the
UK, a hazard appraisal will need to be conducted for many such activities. With regard to safety in the
laboratory: attention is drawn to the following UK associations, websites, publications and regulations:
Associations
CLEAPSS is an advisory service providing support in science and technology, primarily for UK schools.
Independent and international schools and post-16 colleges can apply for associate membership (which
includes access to the CLEAPSS publications listed below) http://www.cleapss.org.uk/secmbfr.htm
Websites
http://www.chemsoc.org/networks/learnnet/Safety.htm
http://www.ncbe.reading.ac.uk/NCBE/SAFETY/menu.html
http://www.microbiologyonline.org.uk/safety.html
Cambridge International Pre-U Global Perspectives and Independent Research 9777.
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Section 3: Independent Research Report
Publications
Safeguards in the School Laboratory (ASE, 11th edn, 2006)
Topics in Safety (ASE, 3rd edn, 2001)
CLEAPSS Laboratory Handbook (2005 – available to CLEAPSS members only)
CLEAPSS Hazcards (2005 edn – available to CLEAPSS members only)
Safety in Science Education (DfES, HMSO, 1996)
Hazardous Chemicals Manual (SSERC, 1997)
Hazardous Chemicals. An interactive manual for science education (SSERC, 2002). This is a CD-ROM.
UK regulations
Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH, 2002)
http://www.opsi.gov.uk/SI/si2002/20022677.htm
A brief guide to the regulations may be found at http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg136.pdf
The teacher’s role and the level of guidance permitted
The Report involves a single piece of extended writing resulting from independent thinking and learning
within a supported environment. Each candidate’s question must be different.
Each Report must include a bibliography and full bibliographical references must be given for any quotations.
Each Report must not exceed 5000 words, excluding only the bibliography and the citations for any
quotations. A word-count must be declared. Any work beyond 5000 words will not be included in the
assessment.
The teacher will need to assist with determining the subject and scale of the Report so that the topic
selected provides sufficient opportunities to meet the Assessment Criteria while being neither too large
nor too complex. In the initial stage when topics are being selected, teachers might conduct seminar-style
workshops for candidates to discuss subject-specific issues and approaches. As topics are refined and
questions developed, seminars might be used to share ideas. Once questions have been defined, teachers
may submit Outline Proposal Forms to Cambridge for approval and advice.
The teacher will need to assist candidates in:
•
understanding the nature of the task [e.g. the need for formal reflection AO3]
•
finding a suitable subject and then refining it into a formal question
•
identifying the main issues and possible research strands in their topic
•
identifying and locating appropriate sources of information/evidence
•
understanding and developing appropriate research methodologies
•
understanding and developing the necessary organisational skills.
Teachers should also encourage candidates to show originality in their choice of investigation, approach and
conclusion(s) [AO5].
Candidates should certainly be taught together:
•
the necessary research and organisational skills for this task
•
the appropriate academic conventions for presentation of the Report
•
the meaning and significance of plagiarism.
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Syllabus for examination in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Section 3: Independent Research Report
Significant time should be allocated to this important preparatory stage.
While candidates will be expected to carry out their research on their own, their work should be supported
by on-going opportunities in group or individual tutorials to discuss progress and ask questions. Teachers
may monitor progress to check that the candidate remains on schedule, and will need to take the
supervisory steps necessary to be able to authenticate with confidence that each Report is the unaided
work of the individual candidate. The IRR Monitoring Form should be used to record any assistance given
to the candidate. It may be helpful to see the teacher’s role as analogous to that of a tutor in HE who is
supervising undergraduate dissertations. Centres are thus advised to consider whether a team of tutors
across different subject specialisms should be identified.
The Report must be the candidate’s own unaided work.
Once the candidate embarks on researching and writing the Report there must be minimum intervention by
the teacher. The Report must be the candidate’s own unaided work. Candidates will be expected to carry
out their research on their own and, once drafting has begun, the candidate must complete the process and
prepare their Report without further subject-specific assistance. The teacher may not:
•
offer or provide detailed subject guidance for a candidate
•
undertake any research for a candidate
•
prepare or write any subject-specific notes or drafts for a candidate
•
correct any part of a candidate’s subject-specific notes or drafts
•
prepare any part of a candidate’s Report.
Candidates will be required to sign a declaration indicating that the Report is their own unaided work. The
teacher responsible will be required to countersign this declaration, verifying that these regulations have
been observed. This declaration must accompany the Report on submission to Cambridge.
It is recommended that teachers hold a brief (five to ten minute) informal interview (viva) with each
candidate when completed Reports are submitted for marking within their Centre. This will assist tutors to
be confident about authenticating (or not) each Report as the candidate’s own unaided work.
Marking criteria
Independent Research Reports should be marked using the criteria on the following pages.
Applying the level descriptors
In general terms, progression through level descriptions is underpinned by:
•
increasing breadth and depth of understanding
•
increasing coherence of argument and synthesis
•
increasing independence and originality.
Candidates can perform at different levels across the assessment criteria. Within each assessment criterion,
shortcomings in some aspects of the assessment requirements may be balanced by better performance in
others. Teachers should select appropriate levels not on the basis of a ‘tick list’ but on the overall response
as it relates to the requirements stated within each performance description level. Teachers should adopt a
holistic, best-fit approach and apply their professional judgement.
Cambridge International Pre-U Global Perspectives and Independent Research 9777.
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Section 3: Independent Research Report
Marking must be positive. Marks are not to be deducted for inaccuracies. Part marks are not to be used.
Marking must be done in red. Teachers must annotate the work to show that every page has been
read. They must also show clearly in the margin where each level per assessment objective has been
met. If a piece of work reaches a level then the candidate must be rewarded with a mark in that level. It is
not necessary to work up through the levels.
Only where the candidate’s work does not meet any of the required criteria should no points be awarded.
Initial guidance and tutorial support should be available to all candidates when they are planning and
producing their Independent Research Report. In this context, the following guidelines should be applied
when the Report is marked:
•
‘Some support and guidance’: the candidate has to be guided and advised throughout to ensure that
progress is made. The candidate relies heavily on the support of the teacher, who has to assist in many
aspects of the work. This degree of support restricts the candidate’s work to Level 1, irrespective of the
quality of the outcomes.
•
‘Limited assistance’: the teacher supports the candidate initially in the choice of topic for investigation.
The candidate frequently checks matters of detail or may need significant prompting to make progress.
The teacher needs to assist in some aspects of the work. This degree of support restricts the
candidate’s work to Level 1 or 2, irrespective of the quality of the outcomes.
•
‘Independently’: the teacher supports the candidate initially in defining and refining the scope and title
of the Independent Research Project. Thereafter the teacher reacts to questions from the candidate and
suggests a range of ideas that the candidate acts upon. The teacher monitors progress throughout. This
degree of support gives access to all three levels.
Cambridge International Pre-U Global Perspectives and Independent Research 9777.
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Syllabus for examination in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
AO2
Analysis
Select, assess and
synthesise information,
concepts, arguments
and evidence from a
range of source material
Analysis of arguments and
evidence to draw reasoned
conclusions
Analysis of structure of
argument in source material
e.g. identifying reasons,
conclusions, assumptions,
evidence and examples.
Clarification of expressions
and ideas e.g. defining key
terms.
1–6 marks
Data analysis is superficial and
may contain inaccuracies.
Limited reference to theories
and concepts.
Some evidence of application
of critical thinking techniques
to analyse source material.
7–12 marks
Data analysis is generally
accurate and fit for purpose.
Some reference is made to
theories and concepts, but
these are not necessarily
relevant or analysis is sketchy.
13–18 marks
Data analysis is technically
accurate and uses wellchosen techniques with
flair.
Analysis of source materials
uses robust critical thinking
techniques, and is thorough
and coherent with links to
appropriate theories and
concepts.
Materials selected are wideranging and relevant to the
question.
Source materials are generally
relevant.
Source materials selected
may be narrow in scope and
of limited relevance to the
question.
Source materials are analysed
using critical thinking
techniques, but with some
omissions, irrelevancies or
inaccuracies.
7–9 marks
4–6 marks
1–3 marks
Some research as planned
is carried out with significant
support from tutor.
Research techniques applied
are appropriate to the subject
and the question.
Detailed research is carried
out, with creative use of
appropriate techniques and
methods which are relevant
to the subject discipline
and serve to illuminate the
question.
Planned research is carried out
with some support.
Own independent research
using techniques and
methods appropriate to
the subject discipline i.e.
literature search, relevant
statistical/data handling and
modelling techniques
Some application of basic
research techniques which are
appropriate to the subject.
The research question is
identified, developed and
refined in a constructive
dialogue with the tutor.
The research question is
identified and developed with
some support from the tutor.
The research question is
identified with significant
support from tutor.
Knowledge of research
methods and conventions.
Design, plan, manage
and conduct own
research project
using techniques and
methods appropriate to
the subject discipline
AO1
Knowledge and
understanding of the
research process
Applies subject-specific
knowledge to refine issue
for investigation, identify
question and conduct
research.
Level 3
Level 2
Level 1
Clarification
Task
Assessment
objective
Marking criteria: Independent Research Report
Section 3: Independent Research Report
Cambridge International Pre-U Global Perspectives and Independent Research 9777.
Syllabus for examination in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
29
30
Task
Evaluate alternative
perspectives and
interpretations and
make independent
reasoned judgements,
demonstrating the
capacity to reflect
on own learning and
achievement
Assessment
objective
AO3
Evaluation
Syllabus for examination in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Reflection on own research
techniques and project
management.
Limited discussion of
alternative interpretations
Evaluation of alternative
perspectives and
interpretations and making
own valid, reasoned
judgements.
1–6 marks
Reflection on own research
and conclusions is limited or
superficial.
Judgements may be superficial
and not supported by evidence.
Conclusions are incisive,
and supported by reasons
and evidence in a structured
argument.
Conclusions relate to
arguments and evidence.
Conclusions are drawn, but
may be superficial or not
supported by arguments or
evidence.
Evaluation of arguments
and evidence to draw valid
conclusions.
7–12 marks
Reasoned reflection on own
research and conclusions.
Judgements relate to sources
and evidence but may overlook
key aspects.
13–18 marks
Reflection on own research
is rational and supported by
the content of the essay.
Synthesises arguments,
evidence and alternative
interpretations to construct
own cogent, coherent
argument.
Accurate and
comprehensive use of
critical thinking techniques
to assess strength of claims
in source material, credibility
of sources and strength/
weakness of evidence.
Some relevant use of critical
thinking techniques to assess
strength of claims in source
material, credibility of sources
and strength/weakness of
evidence.
Limited use of critical thinking
techniques to assess claims in
source material.
Evaluation of different types
of claims e.g. whether a
source is reliable, whether
the claim is credible and is
supported by the evidence.
Some relevant alternative
perspectives and interpretations
are considered.
Level 3
Level 2
Level 1
Clarification
Section 3: Independent Research Report
Cambridge International Pre-U Global Perspectives and Independent Research 9777.
Subject terminology and
conventions used accurately
and appropriately.
Subject terminology and
conventions mainly used
accurately.
Academic report/essay
conventions; quality of
written communication; use
of appropriate method (e.g.
graphs, charts, photographs)
to present findings clearly.
New ways of synthesising information – creating
new links
Subject-matter which is non-standard for level 3
qualifications
Looking at epistemological debates and the wider
implications of the chosen methodology
Innovative use of research techniques.
•
•
•
•
Evidence of one or more of the following:
Deals with subject
matter that extends
beyond standard level 3
qualifications in the subject
area.
Shows some consideration
of epistemological and
methodological issues.
Research techniques are
applied showing some
innovative ideas.
•
•
•
Deals with subject matter
that extends slightly
beyond standard level 3
qualifications in the subject
area.
Shows a limited
consideration of
epistemological and
methodological issues.
Research techniques are
applied to new examples
but in a predictable way.
•
•
•
3–4 marks
Some synthesis of
information showing some
insight.
•
limited synthesis, or
synthesis is predictable
and lacks real insight.
•
1–2 marks
4–6 marks
Report shows evidence of one
or more of the following:
1–3 marks
Report shows evidence of one
or more of the following:
Research techniques
are applied in an
innovative way.
•
5–6 marks
Maximum [60] marks
Detailed consideration
of epistemological and
methodological issues.
Deals with subject
matter that extends
significantly beyond
standard level 3
qualifications in the
subject area.
•
•
Innovative and
insightful synthesis of
information.
•
Report shows evidence
of one or more of the
following:
7–9 marks
Communicates own cogent,
coherent argument, with
a high level of accuracy in
spelling, punctuation and
grammar.
Communicates own argument
with some errors in spelling,
punctuation and grammar,
but these do not impede
understanding or are not
intrusive.
Communication of own
argument is impeded by errors
and inaccuracies in spelling,
punctuation and grammar.
Subject terminology and
conventions used, but not
always accurately.
Communicates in a highly
effective manner when
negotiating with tutor.
Communicates effectively
when negotiating with tutor.
Clarification needed when
negotiating with tutor.
Negotiation with tutor:
proposing and refining topic/
issue, finalising research
proposal, determining
research methods.
Explanation and
presentation of research
methods, findings and
conclusions.
Level 3
Level 2
Level 1
Clarification
Demonstrate additional skills, knowledge or
understanding that shows particular intellectual
engagement with the subject of the report.
Communicate clearly
in negotiating and
conducting the
research project, and
in presenting own
research, interpretations
and judgements, using
appropriate format and
conventions
AO4 Communication
AO5
Intellectual Challenge
Task
Assessment
objective
Section 3: Independent Research Report
Cambridge International Pre-U Global Perspectives and Independent Research 9777.
Syllabus for examination in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
31
Section 3: Independent Research Report
Sample guidance for candidates
The Independent Research Report is a compulsory component of the Cambridge Pre-U Certificate in Global
Perspectives and Independent Research, and is designed to be stimulating and enjoyable. It is also intended
to enable you to use and to develop skills which universities and employers are looking for – not least the
ability to learn critically and independently. The assessment of your Report essay will reflect how clearly you
have demonstrated these skills.
Initial preparation
1Choose a topic that interests you. It does not necessarily have to be linked to your other courses.
2Your title should take the form of a question: questions require answers. Give particular thought to this;
why, for example, is this a problem worth solving?
3Your essay or report must be word-processed, and no longer than 5000 words.
4Ideal presentation is 11 point, 1.5 or double spaced and with default margins. Avoid unusual or fancy
fonts – use a standard font such as Arial or Times New Roman.
Writing the essay or report
5You must include an Introduction in which you identify and explore the terms, issues and scope of the
enquiry. Suggest why it is an enquiry worth undertaking.
6You also need a Conclusion. This need not be extensive, if the Report itself is answering the question
posed. You may need only to extract and link strands of argument already presented. You could also
suggest routes for further research and consider how your ideas and opinions may have changed during
the course of your research.
7
Essays consist of paragraphs. When you are planning, and even more importantly when you have
completed a draft and are seeking to highlight the argument, ensure that each successive paragraph
is playing its part in answering your question. Better 4500 words, sharply focussed, than 5000 words
where many are off the point and surplus to requirements.
The essay should be able to be read by one of your peers. You must be able to explain it to someone who is
not a specialist in the subject area.
Sources and references
8You are not expected to produce anything wholly original; but what you produce must be independent.
That is, you must initially seek (in books, articles, the internet etc) information on which you can work;
that you then have to process, digest, and interpret. In other words, finding what someone else has
discovered, said, written or broadcast about something is only a start: you have to engage intellectually
with those sources to come up with an answer to your particular question. Be critical of your sources:
be aware of limitations, and especially bias.
Plagiarism
9Merely assembling other people’s material, extracted from books or downloaded from websites, would
miss the point and could constitute plagiarism. You must therefore acknowledge where specific ideas
and information come from. Copied chunks from any source will not be marked.
10At the end you must add a Bibliography (which is not included in the word limit). It should list all the
sources that have guided you in your enquiry – and it must, especially, list every source from which you
have taken a particular fact, idea, quotation or interpretation.
Cambridge International Pre-U Global Perspectives and Independent Research 9777.
32
Syllabus for examination in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Section 3: Independent Research Report
11You should give references to your sources throughout. Conventions vary: whatever style you choose to
adopt, be consistent.
•
For a book, you must give author, title and date of publication.
•
For the internet, you must give title, url (= the exact website identifier, so that anyone can find the
source), and the date of your consultation.
•
Every quotation has to be referenced/footnoted, preferably with page number.
Three key steps
12Determine your title – in consultation with your Independent Research Report tutor and your subject
teachers. Your current thoughts on a university course will be a factor here, and you should not hesitate
to ask the advice of the relevant Head of Subject.
13 On the basis of your title, identify and consult a member of staff who will read and mark your Report.
14
By [date to be inserted by centre] you must hand in to your IRR tutor a completed IRR Proposal
Form.
What happens next?
15Ensure you arrange regular tutorials with your IRR Tutor to discuss your ideas and progress, and get
advice. It is important that you use initiative and are pro-active here.
16You must hand in the Report to your IRR Tutor on [date to be inserted by Centre]. Reports will not be
accepted after that date.
17Your IRR tutor will mark your Report.
18Your IRR tutor will discuss your Report with you in a brief interview (viva) by [date to be inserted by
Centre].
19The mark for your Report will be submitted to Cambridge. At this stage marks are not final and may be
adjusted by Cambridge.
20 You may also wish to make reference to your Report and research in your University/Higher Education
application.
Advice for candidates planning science based reports
21 Reports about the history of science are acceptable.
22Reports might cover a topic which you have been taught but you should go into much more detail about
the subject (its origins, its practical uses and how it has developed) or you might ideally look at an area/
topic which you have not previously studied. Alternatively you could consider a different application of
something you have studied.
23When considering the area of your Report you could visit a library and look at the non-school textbooks
and magazines on science or mathematics (e.g. New Scientist, Scientific American, Mathematical
Spectrum, Mathematical Gazette). In these there are interesting articles (with references) which you
could research further. You could also look at undergraduate prospectuses and see what topics are
covered in the first year and then research these.
24 It is important that you adopt a critical and evaluative approach to evidence.
Cambridge International Pre-U Global Perspectives and Independent Research 9777.
Syllabus for examination in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
33
Section 3: Independent Research Report
Grade descriptors
The following grade descriptors indicate the level of attainment characteristic of the given grade. They give a
general indication of the required standard at each specified grade. The descriptors should be interpreted in
relation to the content outlined in the syllabus; they are not designed to define that content.
The grade awarded will depend in practice upon the extent to which the candidate has met the assessment
objectives overall. Shortcomings in some aspects of the examination may be balanced by better
performance in others.
Distinction (D2)
Candidates characteristically:
•
demonstrate breadth and depth of subject knowledge applied relevantly to the chosen issue
•
draw selectively on knowledge of research techniques
•
collect evidence using a variety of appropriate techniques
•
manage the research process effectively
•
interpret and synthesise relevant information, concepts and evidence from a range of sources
•
use a variety of appropriate techniques to analyse arguments and evidence
•
show insight and intellectual rigour in engagement with concepts and arguments in source material
•
evaluate the validity of outcomes and interpretations recognising any limitations
•
produce cogently-argued reasoned judgements
•
show clear evidence of perceptive/original reflection on own learning and achievement demonstrating
self-awareness
•
communicate clearly, fluently and accurately in a concise and logical way, selecting and using
appropriate media effectively
•
use format and conventions appropriate to the subject with precision
Merit (M2)
Candidates characteristically:
•
demonstrate some breadth of subject knowledge which is generally applied relevantly to the chosen
issue
•
draw on knowledge of research techniques, showing some selectivity
•
collect evidence using appropriate techniques
•
manage the research process adequately
•
interpret and synthesise information, concepts and evidence from sources
•
use some appropriate techniques to analyse arguments and evidence
•
show some evidence of engagement with concepts and arguments in source material
•
provide some evaluation of the validity of outcomes and interpretations
•
produce reasoned judgements
•
show capacity to reflect on their own learning and achievement with some self-awareness
•
communicate effectively; generally selecting and using media effectively, but communication may lack
accuracy, although errors do not intrude or impede understanding
•
use format and conventions appropriate to the subject correctly, in general
Cambridge International Pre-U Global Perspectives and Independent Research 9777.
34
Syllabus for examination in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Section 3: Independent Research Report
Pass (P2)
Candidates characteristically:
•
demonstrate subject knowledge, but this may be of limited relevance or not always applied appropriately
•
draw on knowledge of research techniques
•
collect evidence
•
manage the research process, but with limited effectiveness
•
interpret and synthesise information, concepts and evidence from sources, but this may be restricted in
scope
•
use a limited range of techniques to analyse arguments and evidence
•
show limited evidence of engagement with concepts and arguments in source material
•
provide some comment on the validity of outcomes and interpretations
•
produce judgements, but these may lack balance or be superficial
•
show limited capacity to reflect on their learning or reflection may be superficial
•
communicate mainly adequately, but understanding may be impeded by errors or use of media may be
inappropriate on occasion
•
show some evidence of use of format and conventions appropriate to the subject
Appendix: Additional information
Guided learning hours
It is anticipated that Global Perspectives will require approximately 200 hours of guided learning and the
Independent Research Report will require approximately 120 hours. This is a notional measure of the
substance of the qualification. It includes an estimate of the time that might be allocated to direct teaching
or instruction, together with other structured learning time such as directed assignments or supported
individual study and practice. It excludes learner-initiated private study.
Certification title
This qualification is shown on a certificate as:
•
Cambridge International Level 3 Pre-U Certificate in Global Perspectives and Independent Research
The qualification is accredited at Level 3 of the UK National Qualifications Framework and provides a solid
grounding for candidates to pursue a variety of progression pathways.
Entries
For entry information for each session please refer to the Cambridge UK Guide to Making Entries.
Cambridge International Pre-U Global Perspectives and Independent Research 9777.
Syllabus for examination in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
35
Section 3: Independent Research Report
Classification code for UK Centres
In the UK, every syllabus is assigned to a national classification code that indicates the subject area to which
it belongs. UK Centres should be aware that candidates who enter for more than one qualification with the
same classification code will have only one grade (the highest) counted for the purpose of the School and
College Performance Tables.
The classification code for this syllabus is EXTP.
Language
This syllabus and the associated assessment materials are available in English only.
Procedures and regulations
This syllabus complies with the Cambridge Code of Practice and The Statutory Regulation of External
Qualifications 2004.
Further information about the administration of Cambridge Pre-U qualifications can be found in the
Cambridge Handbook (UK) available from Cambridge Publications or by contacting [email protected]
Spiritual, moral, ethical, social, legislative, economic and cultural issues
•
Global Perspectives
This syllabus provides opportunities for candidates to develop their understanding of spiritual, moral,
ethical, social, legislative, economic and cultural issues throughout the course.
Topics considered under the Ethics theme offer opportunities for understanding of spiritual, moral and
ethical issues to be developed.
Topics considered under the Economics theme offer opportunities for understanding of economic issues
to be developed.
Topics considered under the Politics and Culture theme offer opportunities for understanding of social,
legislative, economic and cultural issues to be developed.
•
Independent Research Report
This syllabus provides opportunities for candidates to develop their understanding of spiritual, moral,
ethical, social, legislative, economic and cultural issues throughout the course. However, the extent to
which understanding of any of these issues is developed is dependent entirely upon the subject and
nature of the individual candidate’s chosen research.
Sustainable development, environmental education, health and safety
considerations, European dimension and international agreements
•
Global Perspectives
This syllabus provides opportunities to consider aspects of environmental education within the
Economics, Environment and Technology themes.
There are opportunities in this syllabus to investigate local, national and international aspects throughout
the course. Investigation of international dimensions is an integral part of the course.
Cambridge International Pre-U Global Perspectives and Independent Research 9777.
36
Syllabus for examination in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Section 3: Independent Research Report
•
Independent Research Report
This syllabus provides opportunities to consider:
Health and safety issues
The extent of consideration of these areas will depend entirely upon the subject and nature of the
individual candidate’s chosen research.
Cambridge has developed this syllabus and the associated Principal subjects in line with UK, European
and International legislation and agreements.
Environmental education and sustainable development
The extent of consideration of these areas will depend entirely upon the subject and nature of the
individual candidate’s chosen research.
Cambridge has developed this syllabus and the associated Principal subjects in line with UK, European
and International legislation and agreements.
The European and international dimension
The extent of consideration of these areas will depend entirely upon the subject and nature of the
individual candidate’s chosen research.
Cambridge has developed this syllabus and the associated Principal subjects in line with UK, European
and International legislation and agreements.
Avoidance of bias
Cambridge has taken great care in the preparation of this syllabus and assessment materials to avoid bias of
any kind.
Cambridge International Pre-U Global Perspectives and Independent Research 9777.
Syllabus for examination in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
37
Cambridge International Examinations
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